DECAF Kaffa Forest Ethiopia Coffee
DECAF Kaffa Forest Ethiopia Coffee
Sweet & rounded with flavours of apricots, honey, delicate florals and marzipan.
ALTITUDE - 1750 - 1850 MASL
REGION - Kaffa Highlands, South West of Addis Ababa
PROCESS - Natural. Sparkling water decaf process
VARIETY - Heirloom
STANDARD DELIVERY ONLY £2 AND FREE DELIVERY ON ALL ORDERS OVER 750g
This family-owned estate is situated some 470 km southwest of Addis Ababa in the highlands of the Kaffa region. The coffee is wild and natural and grows in an area of some 2,000 hectares at an altitude of between 1,750 and 1,850 metres above sea level. Approximately half of this land remains a natural forest with the coffee growing amongst the trees. Such conditions provide incredible biodiversity and the coffee plants are nurtured by cool morning mists and a lush tropical canopy that provides protective shade from the midday sun. The soil is enriched with organic nutrients as the fallen tree leaves decay and in the process become a natural mulching agent. Ethiopia’s last forest lions are said to live within the Kaffa Forest. Studies carried out on the coffee plant diversity within the forest have shown that there are at least ten distinctive genetic varietals. Given that this is truly the home of coffee, it can therefore be assumed that the original species will be cohabiting within the forest.
Kaffa Forest Coffee is double certified – Rainforest Alliance and Organic, the latter by BCS OKO of Germany. This coffee forest provides permanent employment for four hundred people and during the harvest this figure will rise to between two and three thousand, depending on the size of the crop. To enable better management of the land and harvest, the estate has been divided into six micro-farms. The hand-picked coffee is washed and sun dried. The trees flower in January to February and the washed coffees are harvested between August and December and between January and March for the sun dried. Shipments start in end of October onwards. All processing takes place within the forest farm though dry-milling and preparation for export takes place in Addis Ababa.
THE SPARKLING WATER DECAFFEINATION PROCESS:
This process was first discovered by a scientist called Kurt Zosel at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in 1967 as he was looking at new ways of separating mixtures of substances. In 1988, a German decaffeination company called CR3 developed this process for decaffeination whereby natural carbon dioxide (which comes from prehistoric underground lakes) is combined with water to create ‘sub-critical’ conditions which creates a highly solvent substance for caffeine in coffee. It is a gentle, natural and organically certified process and the good caffeine selectivity of the carbon dioxide guarantees a high retention level of other coffee components which contribute to taste and aroma.
- The green beans enter a ‘pre-treatment’ vessel where they are cleaned and moistened with water before being brought into contact with pressurised liquid carbon dioxide. When the green coffee beans absorb the water, they expand and the pores are opened resulting in the caffeine molecules becoming mobile.
- After the water has been added, the beans are then brought into contact with the pressurised liquid carbon dioxide which combines with the water to essentially form sparkling water. The carbon dioxide circulates through the beans and acts like a magnet, drawing out the mobile caffeine molecules.
- The sparkling water then enters an evaporator which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon dioxide out of the water. The now caffeine free water is pumped back into the vessel for a new cycle.
- This cycle is repeated until the required residual caffeine level is reached. Once this has happened, the circulation of carbon dioxide is stopped and the green beans are discharged into a drier.
- The decaffeinated coffee is then gently dried until it reaches its original moisture content, after which it is ready for roasting.
There are several benefits to using this process for decaffeination:
- The agent used for extracting the caffeine is entirely natural and the process can be classified as ‘organic’ due to the complete lack of chemicals used throughout. There is also no health risk by consuming coffee that has been decaffeinated in this way.
- The way the process works means the other compounds in the green bean are left untouched, meaning decaffeination has no effect on the flavour and aroma of the finished product. The carbon dioxide is very selective and doesn’t extract the carbohydrates and proteins in the green bean which contribute to flavour and smell.
- The cell structure of the green bean and the finished roasted bean is unchanged which is of great advantage when working with speciality coffees.
- The by-products are 100% natural and recyclable.